Stanford University | Bing Concert Hall

FDA began working with Stanford University and its local presenting group, Stanford Lively Arts, during the early planning stages of the Performing Arts Center project. During extensive interviews with stakeholders, school user groups, administration, and facilities departments, the team planned the hall to be a true partnership between Stanford’s performing arts and music departments and Stanford Lively Arts. In addition to achieving acoustical excellence, the client’s objectives for the hall recognized the changing nature of classical music performance. Soloists, orchestras, and chamber groups are increasingly experimenting with visual media, lighting, and movement, and the hall has been carefully designed to facilitate these more theatrical types of musical presentations. In addition, there was a strong desire to make an informal space that would break down the real and implied barriers that separate audiences and performers in so many halls. This desire contributed to keeping the seating capacity low so that no one is very far away from the stage. The decision to adopt a surround-style arrangement and to place the musicians at the same floor level as the front row of seats provides exciting perspectives on the musicians, allowing the audience to see the conductor from the musicians’ point of view and to watch the subtle interactions between artists up close. The result is a hall in which the audience and musicians share an intimate space and can hear, see, and feel the music together.

  • Client: Stanford University
  • Architect: Ennead Architects
  • Completion Year: 2012
  • Location: Palo Alto, California
  • Acoustician: Nagata Acoustics
  • Capacity: 844 seats

  • LEED Gold certified
  • 2014 Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry
  • Excellence in Construction Quality Award
  • 2014 ENR Best of the Best: Speciality Contracting
  • 2014 USITT Architecture Merit Award
  • 2013 AIA NY Chapter Merit Award for Excellence in Arch.
  • 2013 AIA NYS Citation for Design
  • 2013 Architizer A+ Awards Special Mention
  • 2013 Excellence in Structural Engineering Award
  • 2013 Illuminating Engineering Society
  • IES Lighting Control Innovation Award of Merit
  • 2013 SCUP and AIA Committee on Architecture for Education
  • Merit Award for Excellence in Arch. for a New Building
  • 2013 Society of American Registered Architects,
  • National Council: Bronze Design Award
  • 2013 Society of American Registered Architects California
  • Council: Design Award of Excellence
  • 2013 The Chicago Anthenaeum American Architecture Award



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